Gender equality through technology and innovation
The role of information and communication technologies (ICT) is important for the sustainable development of Bangladesh. Over the last few years, Bangladesh has maintained a strong growth and development track record. For last consecutive years, the economy shot up at a rate of above six percent annually. Poverty still exists for certain people. Nearly half of those are women who must be involved in the development process. ICT can aid in the process of inclusion and assist the country's progress. Gender discrimination and inequality are socially manufactured against women.
The Government of Bangladesh (GoB) recognizes the importance of leveraging information and communication technologies (ICT) to accomplish SDG 5's national and global targets for social and economic empowerment of women.
To achieve the goals set out in SDG 5, the government has made it a top priority to ensure women's economic participation as a critical issue on the road to women's empowerment as one of the main drivers of the country's transformation from low-income to middle-income status.
The government has taken a number of steps to encourage women to participate in entrepreneurship through a series of clever programs. Bangladesh has always been supportive of the United Nations' (UN) missions and has always been eager to implement innovative and socially beneficial UN programs.
As a member country, Bangladesh actively participates in the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology for Development (APCICT).
Bangladesh has been a part of the "Women ICT Frontiers Initiative (WIFI)" since the module designing and defining implementation plan to initiating strategies for women empowerment that prompted the WIFI rollout in Bangladesh. The WIFI initiative aims to improve women entrepreneurs' ICT skills and capacity so that they can plan and operate their businesses more efficiently. WIFI's mission is to use ICT to economically empower women.
The Bangladesh Computer Council's (BCC) of ICT division is collaborating with "Bangladesh Women in Technology (BWIT)" and "Bangladesh Institute of ICT in Development (BIID)" to create WIFI modules in Bengali (Bangla) in accordance with local viewpoints and references. Bangladesh's WIFI installation has served as a paradigm for public-private partnerships (Public Private Partnership).
ICT is a wonderful enabler to improve efficiency and capability to run businesses. The government's Digital Bangladesh mandate was a crucial reason in adopting WIFI in Bangladesh. The WIFI program, on the other hand, aided in the achievement of the UN's SDG 5 targets.
Since the start of the WIFI initiative, over 5,300 women entrepreneurs have been taught and encouraged. Following the outbreak of the COVID 19 epidemic, BCC and BIID collaborated to provide online WIFI training and assistance to women entrepreneurs around the country, which is still ongoing. The online version of the WIFI program also contributes in an inclusive manner to help women entrepreneurs take advantage of ICT for their empowerment with vital business skills, to foster creativity, and to embrace smart business solutions.
WIFI is a true case of collaboration between UN & Government of Bangladesh to foster ICT usage towards empowering women as entrepreneur. The impact of WIFI program encouraged the government to scale up the initiative nationwide and achieve the vision of Digital Bangladesh.
Following the success of Vision 2021, the government of Bangladesh has announced Vision 2041 and the 8th Five-Year Plan, which include development goals such as technical advancement and gender equality. The Plan intends to boost growth in order to promote participation, poverty reduction, social inclusion, women's empowerment, gender equality, and good governance.